|WENDY & PETER PAN|
Leeds Playhouse is taking audiences on an unforgettable trip to Neverland this Christmas as it stages Ella Hickson’s WENDY & PETER PAN. Co-directed by Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands, it will play at Leeds Playhouse from 18 Nov 2021 – 22 Jan 2022.
This unique adaptation of the J M Barrie classic retells the story from the unique viewpoint of Wendy Darling and has been created in co-production with Bunkamura Theatre in Japan. Packed with theatrical magic, beautiful designs by Colin Richmond and an epic score by Japanese composer, Shuhei Kamimura, flying and plenty of laughs, it promises to be an unforgettable journey for all the family. Japanese video artistry will be cleverly combined with the reinvigorated classic British story to give the production a unique international shared vision.
Director Jonathan Munby said: “We’re thrilled to have assembled such a stellar cast for this new version of WENDY & PETER PAN in Leeds. A company that includes some of the country’s finest performers, from some of the best local talent to familiar faces and rising stars. We are also very proud of the diversity represented by this incredibly talented company. This show comes hot foot from Tokyo where it played alongside the Olympics to capacity audiences and rave reviews. It’s a unique cultural hybrid of the very best creatives from both the UK and Japan. It’s a production that has so far been a truly inspiring, international collaboration. We can’t wait to share this fresh new reimagining of a classic with the Leeds audience this Christmas.”
The cast comprises:
Amber James (Wendy Darling) is a leading light in theatre. She starred in the London debut of Mike Bartlett’s Snowflake, following a run in Vassa at the Almeida Theatre. She also played Titania at Regent’s Park and took the title role of Cressida in Greg Doran’s Troilus & Cressida for the RSC. Her screen work includes CBS series Ransom, Vera and Doc Martin for ITV, and upcoming BBC series Dodger.
Pierro Niel Mee (Peter Pan) joins the company to play the boy who refuses to grow up. His recent theatrical credits include Ghosts (Royal & Derngate) and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regents Park Open Air Theatre).
Hope Kenna (Tink) will make her professional debut at the Playhouse having recently graduated from Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Ami Okumura Jones’ (Tiger Lily) recent theatrical credits include As You Like It (Watermill Theatre) Treasure Island (Octagon Bolton) and WITCH WITCH WITCH (Camden’s People Theatre).
David Birrell (Hook/ Mr Darling)is known to Leeds Playhouse audiences having previously starred as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the then West Yorkshire Playhouse and, in 2013, as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Birrell will be joined on stage by his sidekick Brian Lonsdale (Smee).
The Darling family consists of Amy Rockson (Mrs Darling), Corey Montague-Sholay (John Darling), Stefan Race (Michael Darling) and David Carpenter (Tom Darling).
The lost boys will include Callum Balmforth (Tooties), Richard Leeming (Slightly), James Stevenson (Curly), Thomas Pickles (Martin the Cabin Boy), Cassidy Little (Doc Swain), Hadley Smith (Knock-Bone Jones) and Ramône Dale-Cruickshank (Murt the Bat).
An integral part of the production will be the Shadows – a group of ensemble actors who are pivotal to the story telling as they mould and move the action of the world of Neverland and the Darling family.
The shadows include Jason Battersby, Peter Losasso, Kelvin Ade, Simone Lewis, Richard Peralta, Leon Smith and Leeds-based Xolani Crabtree, who trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance andrecently returned to Leeds Playhouse as Trainee Assistant Director for A Little Night Music, a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Opera North. She then went on to work as Assistant Director for Mugabe, My Dad and Me, a co-production with York Theatre Royal and English Touring Theatre.
Lucy Hind, Choreographer, said: “Our collaboration is unique as it brings together Leeds Playhouse and Theatre Bunkamura in Tokyo. We’ve been sharing skills and top tips so we can make the very best production for audiences here in Leeds. As with most Christmas productions, it is a family show, but it isn’t just for children, it’s got adventure, peril and danger. It’s going to touch the hearts of parents and grownups. After spending a year isolated from one another, we can now come together to enjoy the magic of theatre.”
The full creative team includes Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick, Sound Designer Chris Shutt, Video Designer Taiki Ueda, Fight Director Terry King, Assistant Director Ellie Taylor and Casting Director Annelie Powell CDG.
WENDY & PETER PAN, a Leeds Playhouse and Bunkamura production, will run atLeeds Playhouse from18 November 2021 – 22 January 2022.
Leeds Playhouse is welcoming audiences back into the building safely. NHS and Key Workers discount available across selected performances. The Playhouse will continue to abide by national guidelines and will keep audiences informed about its ongoing covid safety measures.
Wendy & Peter Pan
A Leeds Playhouse and Bunkamura production
By Ella Hickson
Adapted from the novel by JM Barrie
Co-Directors Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands
18 Nov – 22 Jan
Press Night Thu 25 Nov